Baltic Dry Index Logs First Gain of 2016

ReutersFeb 12 (Reuters) – The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose for the first time this year on Friday, helped by higher rates for panamax vessels.

However, the dry bulk market is expected to remain under pressure as a gloomy outlook for global demand persists.

The overall index, which gauges the cost of shipping resources including iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertiliser, marginally rose by a point to 291 points on Friday.

The index remained flat on Thursday after a 12 day losing streak.

The index touched an all-time low of 290 points on Wednesday, marking the lowest level since the records began in 1985.

The dry bulk sector has been particularly hurt by slower Chinese business at a time when the sector is struggling with huge overcapacity.

The capesize index was down 7 points at 199 points.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $58 to $2,698.

The panamax index was up 12 points, or 3.85 percent, at 324 points. Average daily earnings for panamaxes were up by $94 at $2,597.

Among smaller vessels both supramax index and handysize index slipped a point to 243 and 183 points respectively. (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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